‘Horrified’ woman grabbed by police while trying to return M&S gifts | UK | News

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‘Horrified’ woman grabbed by police while trying to return M&S gifts | UK | News

A woman has been left « horrified » after police accused her of theft at an M&S store after she tried to return presents for a friend. Roxana Shirazi said she was grabbed by police officers and falsely accused of stealing in the middle of a busy street.

The Bristol-based author visited a Marks & Spencer shop in Cribbs Causeway, Bristol, on Saturday, January 6 at 9.15am.

She was helping her friend Roy, 93, return Christmas presents from his family and hoped to get a voucher or exchange the unwanted items for a cardigan and jacket for him.

Ms Shirazi said the gifts had tags on, but there was no receipt, adding: « He was embarrassed and didn’t want his family to know. »

The good samaritan said she walked into the shop with a bag filled with his things, went up to the cashier and explained the situation.

But, according to Ms Shirazi, the staff member scanned the items and told her they hadn’t been purchased at that shop.

She said: « It was very odd, they had definitely paid for the items so I said they had certainly been purchased, but that was all she would say. »

Confused, Roxana left, planning to return the items to her friend, but before she could leave the shop she said she was « grabbed » by a security guard who accused her of stealing them.

Ms Shirazi told him to look at the CCTV which showed her walking into the store with the bag of items. But he accused her of stealing them previously and of bringing them back to get money for them.

She said: « I was shocked and said they aren’t mine, they are a 93-year-old man’s. I tried to explain the situation but he said it was theft and was going to call the police. »

Roxana then recalled being « grabbed » again by two policemen in the middle of a busy street. She added: « It was so embarrassing. »

She said she even got them to talk on the phone to her friend who she said told the officers they were given to him by his children, but the police didn’t believe him.

Ms Shirazi said: « He was shaking and so upset, because of his age. He was literally coughing up blood that morning and needed to go to the doctor’s and was worried and wanted to come to help as the police wanted to detain me.

« I was stood there for ages with people watching – it was so horrible and mortifying. The police took the stuff off me and wouldn’t give it back – they took my address and name. »

She accused the police of calling her a thief and saying they were going to investigate her. She said: « It was so upsetting. I tweeted M&S about the incident later on that day and they said they would look into it. [There was] no apology at all. »

A day later, Ms Shirazi received a phone call from M&S during which the retail giant admitted they had « made a mistake » and there had not been any shoplifting.

She said she was shocked they would not apologise to her, given the trauma of the whole event, which she said not only left her in « shock and distress », but also her friend.

The whole episode has left Ms Shirazi wondering if this has happened to other people before when taking back a gift.

She believes her experience exposes a flaw in the store’s returns policy. She added: « I felt like a criminal – it was really horrible and I don’t know why they made that decision.

« There is no evidence and it was so extreme. Apparently, they found out that sometimes purchase history doesn’t come up on some items – but the staff at M&S should know that and not make such serious allegations.

« Roy hasn’t been well – he felt embarrassed to say to his kids he wanted to exchange some items. Sometimes you don’t want to do that to people who have given you a gift.

« He’s very fragile and very shaken and it has really affected him. He was scared it would be his fault and it has become such a big thing. It’s horrible. »

Ms Shirazi has still not been able to pick up Roy’s items and has received « nothing » in the form of an apology from the store or the police. She added: « You can’t treat people like that

« Have others experienced this? It’s a horrible thing to happen, and I don’t know how M&S and the security make their decisions. »

A spokesperson from M&S said: « We are investigating and have contacted Roxana directly to apologise for her experience. »

Avon and Somerset police confirmed the force was called to Cribbs Causeway, Bristol, on Saturday, January 6 following an allegation of theft from a shop.

It said officers attended and approached a woman in her 50s outside the mall, where they explained the reason they had stopped her and discussed with her the allegation which had been made.

A spokesperson for the force said: « Officers asked the woman to give them the items while enquiries were carried out. They spoke with representatives from the shop, who could not confirm any offence of theft.

« Officers subsequently made contact with the woman to return the items to her. No further action will be taken as no crime has been identified. »

Cet article est apparu en premier sur https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1855301/police-stop-woman-returning-m-and-s-gifts


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